Today’s kids and tweens are savvy smartphone users who can often manage voice assistants before they can read, so you might expect them to have a firm grasp of all things “computer” by the time they reach high school. After all, students ages 8–12 spend an average of 4-6 hours on screens daily. However, the 2018 International Computer and Information Literacy Study suggests that 75 percent of U.S. eighth-graders still lack the basic computer skills required for success in the real world.
“The study shows that the idea of the ‘digital native’ is more myth than reality,” Peggy G. Carr, associate commissioner for assessment at the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), told eSchoolNews. “Today’s eighth-graders were raised in a world in which computers and smartphones are commonplace, but the majority of them were unable to execute basic tasks independently. Clearly, we have work to do to ensure that our students are prepared to use digital devices to successfully navigate all aspects of life.”
Proactive parents can do their part by working with their soon-to-be high schoolers to ensure they have the computer skills needed to meet their academic needs.